Updates on Jaromir Jagr, Mason Raymond and Ales Hemsky.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross reports New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello declined to admit his club had signed Jaromir Jagr as reported Monday by ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun. “It’s all rumors right now”, said Lamoriello, who did acknowledge he’ll continue to look to improve his club in the wake of Ilya Kovalchuk’s sudden NHL retirement nearly two weeks ago.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello is never going to admit or acknowledge any rumored signing by his club until he officially announces it. According to LeBrun, the Devils signing of Jagr is supposed to officially take place today. No offense to the Devils GM, but LeBrun has an excellent track record in this regard, so I’m taking him at his word.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited a recent radio interview with agent J.P. Barry, the agent for former Canucks winger Mason Raymond, claiming it could take some time before his client signs with a new NHL team. Barry said there’s been plenty of interest in Raymond by potential suitors.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s not much left in this year’s UFA market, which was a weak one to begin with. Once Brenden Morrow, Vinny Prospal, and Dan Cleary have been signed (or in Prospal’s case, if he stays in Europe), the market should open up for Raymond.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish said he wouldn’t be against seeing Ales Hemsky at training camp if unable to move the winger this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That being said, you can bet MacTavish is probably beating the bushes hoping this summer’s piss-poor UFA market forces teams to give Hemsky a second look.